Landscaping Tips for Allergy Sufferers

Smart plant choices and select hardscaping tricks can help reduce allergens in your outdoor space.

Color Your Hardscaping

Let your hardscaping provide some of the pizzazz in your patio area. Here, colorful glass creates an eye-popping focal point in an outdoor kitchen designed by Scott Cohen.

All Eyes on the Floor

The blending of two hardscape materials creates a pleasing focal point for this patio design by Dan Berger.

Know Your Vines

Unlike wisteria, bougainvillea is a great vine for allergy-prone gardeners. Landscape designer Morgan Holt created this patio, including the nontraditional arbor, which is constructed from steel straps.

Choose Conifers Carefully

An old fireplace that's been reconstituted as an aquarium is the focal point in this patio by Dan Berger. Juniper, spruce and other conifers depend on wind to spread their pollen, so they cause more allergic reactions than do colorful flowers like salvia, which are typically pollinated by insects. If you're allergic to wind-blown pollen from conifers, avoid working in the yard in early spring when that type of pollen is at its peak.

Forget Fountain Grass

Fountain grass — here, the purple variety — offers nice foliage and flowers, but it's a no-no for folks who are allergic to grasses.

Trees You Can Love

Crape myrtle is a good choice for a low-allergy tree for the backyard. Other options include flowering crabapple, cherry, pear, dogwood and magnolia.